Google adds Pixel 6 family to Android Beta program

One of the benefits of owning a smartphone made by Google is that you usually get the features first and have early access to pre-release software. One such vessel for such software is the Android Beta program. To try it out, all you need is an eligible Android phone signed into your Google account. That is why? Well, in the words of Google,

Android Beta for Pixel gives you an easy way to try out pre-release versions of Android and test out our new features. The feedback you provide will help us identify and fix issues, and make the platform even better. Registered devices will automatically receive updates for the latest Android beta.

Android beta website

While there are other OEM devices that can try out the Android Beta program, with a Pixel or before the Pixel, a Nexus usually meant you could install the Android preview long before someone else put the hand on it. However, that wasn’t the case for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Until now, the Android Beta program only extended to the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a. Considering the bugs Google had to squash with its new Tensor-powered flagship, that might not necessarily be a bad thing, but it’s still something many Pixel owners have come to expect.

In what may or may not be a coincidence, Google just released the latest iteration of the tablet-focused 12L beta, and in doing so added the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to the Android Beta program. 12L leans heavily on the Android tablet experience, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some fun new features for smartphone users. 9to5Google’s Abner Li has a great breakdown of what’s new in the latest Android 12L Beta update.

Anyway, if you’re the proud owner of a Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro and want to try out the beta program, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Just go to the Android beta program website. here. All eligible devices in your account will appear on this page. Find your Pixel 6 or another device you want to use and click the “opt-in” button on that device.

Once you sign up, your device will download an OTA update. It may take a little while, but you can check the update by going to Settings>System>Advanced Settings>System Updates. Keep in mind that this is beta software. It may and probably will contain a few bugs, but this is the final 12L Beta release, so it should be very stable. If you have multiple devices, you may want to keep your main smartphone on the official version of Android.

Note: If you have a phone that you bought from your carrier and it’s not getting a refund, you probably won’t be able to join the beta program. This is because most cellular service providers “lock devices” which are not reimbursed. Sorry.

Ryan H. Bowman